Marine Deck Technology

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Maritime: Marine Deck Technology


The Marine Deck Technology (MDT) program is a US Coast Guard-approved program that combines practical experience and courses in nautical science, computation, communications and human relations. Emphasis is placed on the theory, design, operation and maintenance of deck equipment and applied navigation skills. During the second and third quarters, students gain shipboard experience aboard the college’s training vessels. The academic program is followed by a 90-day at-sea internship on a commercial vessel.

Each graduate who successfully completes the 63.5 credit program receives a certificate that the Coast Guard has approved in lieu of the written and practical examination requirements for national endorsement as an Able Seaman and Lifeboatman, as well as the practical requirements for STCW endorsement as a Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (RFPNW). In addition, graduates receive a total of 240 days of sea time credited toward endorsement as an Able Seaman-Special (AB-Special) or credit for one-third of the sea service requirements of any other Able Seaman endorsement.

NOTE: Students must complete a Coast Guard-approved STCW Basic Training course prior to the at-sea internship.

Estimated Length of Completion

Degree Quarters Credits
Certificate Full Time: 4
Part Time: Part Time Option Not Available

Program lengths are estimates, not guarantees. For the most current program information, please check with the program contact.

There are no entry requirements for this program

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor to discuss specific career goals and recommended coursework.

Job tests this program will prepare you for:

  • Able Seaman - Special

For current employment and wage estimates, please visit the following online resources and search for the relevant occupational term:

All costs are estimates and are not guarantees. For the most current program information, check with an adviser by calling (206) 934-4068. There are additional costs for books and supplies. Each student is responsible for the purchase of certain supplies and required tools before the instruction begins.

Full Time Cost

Quarter Credits Resident Non-Resident International
1 19 $1,694.88 $1,860.78 $3,690.48
2 19 $1,678.85 $1,844.75 $3,646.28
3 25 $1,775.03 $1,940.93 $3,911.48

The following fee is associated with the program:

  • Books and supplies: $250
  • Program-specific fees: $2650

Equipment Fee associated with this program:

  • Knife, flashlight, work shoes, foul weather gear : $120 - $320
  • STCW Basic Training : $1150

Hours may vary based on specific program requirements.

Worker Friendly

This program is offered at times and in formats that meet the needs of working adults. This includes:

  • Daytime
  • Courses offered between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM


Course Course ID Credits Availability

Provides training in proper use of hand tools, power tools (both hand and stationary) and measuring instruments commonly used in mechanical trades. Covers safe work practices, including safety equipment, work procedures, etiquette and regulatory considerations. Includes fastenings, bearings, seals, gasketing methods and other relevant materials and equipment.

MGO 101 2.5

A study of survival craft commonly found aboard ships today. Training in lifeboat operation and handling congruous to that required for the U.S. Coast Guard rating of Lifeboatman. Includes lifeboat nomenclature and equipment, launching procedures, handling by oars, inflatables and other types of lifesaving equipment. Course is Coast Guard approved.

MGO 103 3.0

Study in seamanship to prepare for employment aboard ship. Includes training in seamanship congruous to that required for the U.S. Coast Guard rating of Able Seaman (AB). Includes nomenclature, ship structure, vessel equipment, deck fittings, knots and splices, rigging and watchstanding duties.

MGO 111 3.0

Practical instruction in use of line, cordage, wire rope and splicing methods. Includes reeving tackles and rigging stages, boatswains¿ chairs, pilot ladders and emergency steering gear.

MGO 112 2.0

This course is intended to provide deck program students with a survey of basic marine engineering nomenclature, principles, and systems. Emphasis is on subjects of particular relevance to deck crew members, including rounds, maintenance, fueling and other in-port operations, and pollution control.

MTS 101 2.0

Survey of ship design and construction of all types of vessels. Emphasis on basic naval architecture and management considerations regarding ship structure. Includes hull structure and components, vessel design process, design stresses, tonnage measurements and load line assignments.

MTS 201 2.0

Examines relevant concepts and principles in management, leadership and organizational communication as they apply aboard ship. Emphasizes instilling an attitude and work ethic required to realize the objectives of Social Responsibility advocated by the STCW Code. Satisfies the General Education Requirement in human relations.

MGO 105 2.0

Reviews algebraic and trigonometric methods. Includes the basics of signed numbers, linear equations, fractions, percentages, plane geometry, measurement and variables which represent additional aspects of mathematics required to solve shipboard problems. Satisfies the General Education Requirement in computation.

MGO 119 3.0
Course Course ID Credits Availability

Introductory course focuses on chart navigation and basic methods of piloting. Emphasis on the use of charts and nautical publications, the IALS 'B' buoyage system and solving standard navigation problems. Learn to determine geographic and luminous ranges of lights; correct for compass error, set and drift; plot dead reckoning tracks, running fixes and lines of position; solve time, speed and distance equations; predict tides and tidal currents; calculate simple ETA; formulate anchorage procedures.

MGO 123 3.0

Introductory underway practicum. Receive indoctrination to both watchstanding duties and shipboard responsibilities of an able seaman. Perform all deck-related tasks one might expect to encounter when actually at sea. Involves 12-hour voyages weekly aboard SMA¿s training vessels.

MGO 133 6.0

An introductory course in standard electronic equipment and systems used to aid in navigation and communication. Topics covered include radar, gyro compass, depthsounder, Loran C, RDF, GPS, GMDSS and radiotelephone. Receive specific training in radar piloting and collision avoidance theory using SMA's computer radar simulator.

MGO 137 2.0

Provides a comprehensive study of navigation rules and regulations including purpose, technical provisions, and application. Provides a comparative study of the international (COLREGS) and inland (U.S. domestic) rules, with an emphasis on practical interpretation and application.

MGO 140 2.0

Students will learn the basic skills required for the STCW endorsement as Rating Forming Part of a Navigation Watch (RFPNW). Instruction will focus on helm and lookout watchstanding, as well as an introduction to the Collision Regulations (COLREGS).

MTS 100 2.0

Covers principles, terms and procedures used in the determination of transverse, longitudinal and damage stability of ships. Includes physical laws affecting a floating body, effects of cargo operations, loose water, fuel consumption, grounding and flooding on vessel stability. Includes analyses of case studies involving loss of stability and how to perform trim and stability calculations.

MTS 202 2.0

A non-mathematical intro to meteorology with specific emphasis on marine applications. Focuses on ocean weather phenomena as they impact vessel operations and the role of the ship¿s officer in observing, recording and analyzing developing weather patterns.

MTS 210 2.0
Course Course ID Credits Availability

Practical experience in vessel cleaning maintenance procedures and routine operation of a ship. Tasks include washing, sanding, scaling, chipping, grinding, priming, painting, stenciling and other assigned work both on the interior and exterior of training vessels. Focus on proper technique, optimal resource utilization, cost effectiveness and corrosion prevention.

MGO 120 2.0

Covers fundamentals of ship handling for small vessels based on single-screw theory. Instruction in ship handling techniques includes backing and filling, ¿Y-backing,¿ emergency stopping, flanking, and docking and undocking. Uses a small training vessel.

MGO 124 2.0

Advanced underway practicum. Under supervision, assume role of mate aboard ship and be responsible for navigating the training vessel and operating all related navigational equipment as well as directing the deck crew while underway. Demonstrate competency, proficiency and confidence in navigating a vessel without guidance. Includes 12-hour voyages weekly aboard SMA¿s training vessels.

MGO 166 6.0

Credit range: 4 - 5

Provides real-world at-sea experience on vessels of at least 500 gross tons that operate beyond the boundary line. During 30¿60 day internship demonstrate mastery of the competencies outlined in Table A-II/4 of STCW for ratings forming part of navigational watch or Table A-III/4 of STCW for ratings forming part of an engineering watch.

MGO 200 5.0

Continuation of MGO 123. Emphasizes advanced aspects of navigation and piloting essential to ocean voyaging. Studies methods for determining ETA of CPA by distance off; learn navigational techniques for ocean sailing and perform advanced ETA computations involving time conversion. Includes use of a sextant in determining position and range, measuring speed by RPM, fuel consumption and use of the speed log.

MTS 223 3.0

Using a non-technical format, review issues in pollution prevention and control as they impact on the duties and tasks performed by deck and/or engineering personnel onboard ship.

MTS 284 2.0

Seminar on licensure knowledge requirements for deck/engineering candidates preparing to take the U.S. Coast Guard deck/engineering exams. Learn to consult and reference the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 46 and other publications.

MTS 294 2.0

Covers skills and strategies needed to meet writing demands in college and on the job.

ENGL 105 3.0